April 30, 2012

15-Minute Marketing: From Picture to Postcard

Be funky. That’s the name of the website I discovered last week that offers a free and fun way to create quick marketing materials.

First, find a picture that is compelling. In my situation, I wanted to promote summer camp, so I found a picture that told a story of happy people having a good time in a place that promoted community-building and spiritual growth.

Here’s the photo:

I thought it would be fun to do something funky with it, so I Googled “cartoon-ize pictures.” Among other sites, www.BeFunky.com popped up. I tried a few of the other sites. None worked as easily and intuitively as BeFunky. Plus it’s free, and you don’t have to register.

After you upload your picture, you can choose from an array of effects (Photoshop and other software can do this too, of course, but it’s not as easy!). I wanted to cartoon-ize so I went to the “artsy” tab, then choose cartoonizer. You can fiddle with the settings, although I found the standard ones worked pretty well. 

After you’ve applied the effect, you can save the picture to your desktop. The file size drops considerably, but given that this is a cartoon-effect, the diminished resolution didn’t bother me. 
I think this would make a fun postcard to send out to prospective campers – maybe tweens and teens in the congregation who haven’t gone to a church camp before, or kids who attended last year but haven’t signed up yet for this summer. You decide on your audience. 

Take your picture to one of the many online photo printing sites. (I get tons of coupons for vistaprint.com but there are hundreds out there. Just Google to find one that works for you). Upload your cartoonized photo. Add some text to the front or back, if you’d like. (Or, to save money, you can handwrite on the back, especially if this isn’t a large, bulk mailing, but rather postcards for a dozen or so people). 

Order the cards, and then get your addresses ready. 

In 15-minutes, you’ve created a fun, quirky invitation. It’s in God’s hands after that.